Review: Oslo (Studio 180 Theatre production, presented by David Mirvish)

Omar Alex Khan, Sanjay Talwar, Alex Poch-Goldin, Jonas Chernick & Marla McLeanin the Studio 180 Theatre production of OSLO

The Studio 180 Theatre production of Oslo, playing at the CAA Theatre as part of the Off-Mirvish Season is remarkable theatre. Who would expect that a play about peace negotiations would be so thrilling, so engaging, so witty, that almost three hours would pass in what feels like no time.

Oslo, by J.T. Rogers, is a big play on many levels and director Joel Greenberg gives us an big, exciting production. It always surprises me to see a contemporary play with a large cast; there are 13 cast members playing 17 characters. The play runs for 2 hours and 45 minutes, including intermission, also unusual for a contemporary play. The plot unfolds through the course of the play and there is lots of room for character development. The subject is still very relevant while at the same time being historical. Continue reading Review: Oslo (Studio 180 Theatre production, presented by David Mirvish)

Review: Ashley with a “Y” (Ashley Botting)

Photo of Ashley Botting Photo by David LeyesToronto comedian Ashley Botting remounts her delightful musical improv Fringe show

It’s hard to articulate a show like Ashley with a “Y” playing at the Bad Dog Theatre. Musical improv that changes with every show, totally dependent on the talent and charisma of one woman and her pianist, sounds like it could be the lead up to, well, one heck of a joke.

And it pretty much lives up to its punchlines.

Continue reading Review: Ashley with a “Y” (Ashley Botting)

Review: Come From Away (Mirvish)

Photo of the cast of COME FROM AWAY - Canadian Company, Photo by Matthew MurphyMirvish transfers smash hit musical Come From Away to a new venue: Toronto’s Elgin Theatre

What I like most about Come From Away is that if you want layers, you can find them; if you just want a joyful feel-good show, you can find that too.

As my show-partner Ryan said, it is “infectious and warm, and as a Canadian, you can’t help but feel proud.” I felt it too as I watched the story of how the townspeople of Gander, Newfoundland stepped up to take care of the unexpected visitors, as though I had some ownership of their story by simply living in the same country as them.

Continue reading Review: Come From Away (Mirvish)

2019 Progress Review: Blood on the Dance Floor (ILBIJERRI Theatre Company)

Toronto’s Progress Festival presents a tragi-comic mix of dance, theatre, and storytelling

A tragicomedy mixed with a hopeful love story – Blood on the Dance Floor presented at the Progress Festival is an emotional mix of theatre, dance and storytelling. The one-man show is performed by Australian Jacob Boehm of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company. Boehm connects his identities–gay, Black and HIV positive–through a motif of blood, which defines his fears and generates discrimination against him. The work is curated by The Theatre Centre and Native Earth Performance Arts. Continue reading 2019 Progress Review: Blood on the Dance Floor (ILBIJERRI Theatre Company)

Preview: The 40th Rhubarb Festival (Buddies in Bad Times)

Photo of Kaleb Robertson and John Paul Kane provided by the company

Everyone get ready for Rhubarb! Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents the 40th installation of the wild and wonderful bite-sized theatre festival from February 13-23, featuring a host of talented creators doing what they do best.

The anarchic and experimental nature of the event, Canada’s longest-running new works festival, makes it a review-free zone. Artists – and there are more than 100 involved this year – are encouraged to run, play, and even cavort with their creative impulses. Some works remain festival-specific, and some go on to expansion and remounting.

Continue reading Preview: The 40th Rhubarb Festival (Buddies in Bad Times)

Playlistings for the Week of February 11th, 2019.

Shows that Caught Our Eye in Toronto for the Week of February 11th, 2019.

MoT is here with fabulous suggestions for the theatre-goer in you! The cold weather has finally hit us, so stay warm (and entertained) by enjoying some of the best theatre Toronto has to offer. Our editor Samantha has highlighted a few she is most excited bout.

Continue reading Playlistings for the Week of February 11th, 2019.

Review: Prince Hamlet (Why Not Theatre presented by Canadian Stage)

Why Not Theatre and Canadian Stage presents an ASL integrated Prince Hamlet in Toronto

Why Not Theatre along with Canadian Stage presents a version of Shakespeare’s Prince Hamlet, playing at the Berkeley Street Theatre, unlike any you’ve likely seen before. Directed by Ravi Jain and integrating ASL seamlessly into the performance along with gender bent characters, this version of the Bard’s classic is jagged around the edges and very provocative. It’s simply stunning to watch.

Continue reading Review: Prince Hamlet (Why Not Theatre presented by Canadian Stage)

Review: Post No Bills (Harbourfront Torque/Kitt Johnson X-Act)

Danish Choreographer Kitt Johnson returns to Toronto to present a new dance show

It was the alluring and distorted promotional picture of Danish Choreographer and Dancer Kitt Johnson that caught my eye. The image of Johnson in somewhat of a contortion dressed in a white tank top and a ski mask piqued my curiosity. I wanted to get to know the mysterious person behind the mask. And as her show Post No Bills began, I found myself yearning to learn more about Johnson’s unique contemporary dance style as she purposefully stepped on to the Harbourfront Centre Theatre stage allowing the audience into her world.

Continue reading Review: Post No Bills (Harbourfront Torque/Kitt Johnson X-Act)

Review: Così fan tutte (Canadian Opera Company)

Photo of Johannes Kammler, Emily D’Angelo, Kirsten MacKinnon, and Ben Bliss by Michael CooperThe Canadian Opera Company revives its Atom Egoyan-directed Così fan tutte in Toronto

The Canadian Opera Company has revived its 2014 production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte directed by Atom Egoyan. For this production, the director takes the opera’s secondary title, “The School for Lovers,” literally and sets it in what looks like an Edwardian-era boarding school which he packs full of naturalist symbols like giant butterflies. The end result is decidedly mixed. There are some aspects of the production I loved and other aspects that I found absolutely frustrating. Continue reading Review: Così fan tutte (Canadian Opera Company)